On Wednesday, December 18, 2013, Redskins QB Kirk Cousins addressed the media following practice at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va.
On his assessment of his play last week:
"I would stick to the same tune I had after the game. I felt like there were two, three, four plays that you want to take back and the rest of the game I felt pretty good about. Unfortunately, I can't take those two, three, four plays back, and those kind of defined the results of the game. That's why you work so hard is to avoid those little plays."
On if the offense was changed for him:
"At the end of the day, I think the offense is very similar. We're still able to run our concepts. The way we get to them may be presented a little bit differently, but I do not believe that if you talked to the rest of the offense they would say it's changed. I think they feel like we're still running our base training camp offense and we still carry that zone read possibility every week and that's always something that could be called just depending on what the situation dictates. Clearly, against Atlanta, it wasn't something that we used."
On how knowing he is starting the next two games affects his preparation:
"Well, it's very helpful to get reps. I find that I walk off the practice field today and last week and have a much greater confidence as to my preparedness for that coming game because of the reps I'm able to get during practice. As a backup, you still have to be ready. There's no excuse if you don't play well and have to go in. So you still have to be ready in that role too, you just don't have the reps that you need. I do feel much more prepared because of reps."
On if he feels the pressure of needing to perform to secure his future in the NFL:
"I've felt pressure from the day I was drafted just because you're an NFL quarterback and because there are a lot of people who would kill to have your job, and there are people who are chasing you for your spot — current pros, college players. I've never felt like my job is something that I have locked up. I've always felt that pressure and, fortunately, I'm in a position right now where I'm not fighting to keep my job as much as my perspective is trying to fight to earn an even better opportunity. I think that's a good spot to be in. You certainly do feel the pressure and it's not so much whether or not you feel it, because I think we all feel it, but how are you going to perform under it?"
On if he feels this is his most important opportunity or if there will be others down the road:
"At the end of the day, you have to make the most of your opportunities in this league. You never know when you're next chance is going to come. I also feel like you're only as good as your last performance. That's the way I've always felt about my career. I want to put a good product out there every Sunday, but I do know that walking off the field against the Giants in a week and a half, whatever I've done over these last three weeks, specifically most recently, is going to be how people remember me going into the offseason. I want that to be a positive thing."
On how to focus on "Dallas Week" and avoid distractions:
"For me, I really do believe that it's about our fan base, and our fans want nothing more than for us to beat Dallas. That game means so much to them, especially here at home. Dallas has a lot on the line. It is a major rivalry game. I've played in a lot of rivalry games before and it's a great opportunity to go into a rivalry game and get a win and give our fan base something to feel good about, so there is a lot to play for."
On if it feels odd that the subject of playing the Cowboys hasn't been discussed more:
"No, you can care about whatever you want to care about. We kind of put Atlanta away on Monday and we're focused on Dallas now. I'll answer whatever questions are asked, but this is a big game for us."
On Dallas having last week's film to watch his play:
"At the end of the day, I feel like they're going to have film on you. They know their opponents. They have plenty of film on me from last year and really from this year, too. They know what we would want to do in this system with a guy like me. I don't feel like we caught Atlanta off-guard, I don't feel like we're going to catch Dallas off-guard. I feel like it's about executing. It's about not beating yourself and controlling what we can control and doing it at a high level, and that's what we're working to do on Sunday."
On how people discussing how his play might increase his trade value:
"I'm living in the present. I've got enough to worry about here and now. We didn't get the win on Sunday and so I'm hungry for a win. Whatever may come down the line – this offseason, two years from now, beyond that –
is just not something that I'm going to spend a lot of time being concerned about because I have enough to worry about here in the present, and that's beating Dallas and putting on a good performance."
On the motivation drawn from linebacker London Fletcher probably playing in his last home game:
"We would love to have him walk off that field for the last time, if it will be his last time, with a victory. We all respect and admire London, and he's a great leader in our locker room and has shown all of us what it means to conduct ourselves like a professional on and off the field. I think it would mean a lot to London to get a win, but I think it would mean a lot to us as his teammates to send him off with a win."
On if watching the Atlanta film changed his opinion of his play:
"I'm always going to be hard on myself, and when I go back and watch film, I'm going to be hard on myself and say,'What could I have done better to prevent the loss?' When you look at it – the two interceptions – certainly I could have thrown the ball to more advantageous locations to get the ball completed. Then, on the two-point conversion, I would have liked to have thought that on an off-schedule play, we still have a high likelihood of completing a pass from three yards away. When I'm in a situation like that again, I want to be prepared to be able to turn that into a completion rather than an incompletion."